The case of a 7-Eleven store robbery in Taipei had an unusual ending after it was alleged that the mastermind behind the robbery was the store manager of another Taipei 7-Eleven franchise.
The main suspect in the case, Yang Cheng-wen (楊政文), apparently pretended he was a trying to apprehend the robbers by jumping onto his motorcycle and chasing them for two blocks, before telling police: “I gave them a good chase, but I lost them.”
The manager of the Xinlin 7-Eleven store on Hulin Street which was robbed, surnamed Kung (龔), was incredulous to find out the main suspect in the case was the manager of another franchise who she knew personally, and also that two other suspects were also 7-Eleven employees.
The gang got away with NT$600,000 last Friday afternoon before rendezvousing at a pre-designated meet-up point, which happened to be the Beifu franchise on Songren Road operated by Yang, where they went up to the second floor to share out the loot, police said.
Later that evening, they went to a hostess bar to celebrate their successful operation, where they spent about NT$58,000. They then split the rest of the money the next day.
Police have managed to recover about NT$290,000 of the stolen money.
An official from Taiwan’s 7-Eleven headquarters said they had taken temporary control of Yang’s franchise.
According to a 7-Eleven operator, the Beifu franchise was managed by Yang and his wife, and was apparently doing fairly well.
7-Eleven headquarters promised to look into the matter and vowed to strengthen its monitoring and management of cash storage and deposit procedures.
The police investigation revealed that 30-year-old Yang frequented nightclubs and hostess bars and had accumulated debts of more than NT$80,000.
He allegedly hatched the plan along with a friend surnamed Kuo (郭), a 7-Eleven employee surnamed Chen (陳), a former employee surnamed Lee (李) and a teenager, also surnamed Chen (陳).
Well versed in the operations of a 7-Eleven store, Yang would have known that all stores carry insurance and would receive a compensation payout in case of a robbery.
Allegedly, Yang had initially planned to rob his own store, but Lee and Kuo were against the idea.
Last Friday afternoon, police said Yang went to the target store to talk with Kung, which was the signal for his accomplices to begin the robbery. As soon as Kung walked out of the store she was robbed, with Lee and Kuo making their escape on a motorcycle.
“I will chase after them,” Yang yelled and sped off on his own motorcycle.
In a follow-up probe, police went through videotapes from surveillance cameras around the area. They found Yang had met up with the four robbers in a nearby alley just prior to the heist, making him the prime suspect in the case.
All five suspects were apprehended on Tuesday.